View Full Version : M91/30 Modification

March 11, 2012, 07:56 PM
Now, before everyone screams at me for ruining history and value, hear me out. I want to get into gunsmithing and have a limited budget. Limited as in the only guns I have are two M91/30s. Both are war time models, both in average conditions, and both are refurbished stocks and have no special markings, I spent hours researching each one. I have been battling with myself over wether or not to modify one and....................... sporterize it. I hate sporterized military rifles and when I see them I cringe knowing a piece of history has been erased. My friend I am living with actually had a sporterized Eddystone and LE No.4 Mk.1 They both are sitting there with a nice layer of red in the barrel and he doesnt know a damn thing about them and wont even consider selling them to me. I want to clean them up but I dont have the supplies and he wont bust out money for them so I am watching them slowly fall apart. This is one reason I am worried about sporterizing my guns, I dont want to destroy history. If anyone has any advice let me know, thanks

March 11, 2012, 09:48 PM
I want to clean them up but I dont have the supplies and he wont bust out money for them so I am watching them slowly fall apart.

If you don't have/can't afford cleaning rods, brushes, patches, a jar of Hoppee's, and a can of gun oil how hare you going to go into sporterizing anything!
By sporterize do you mean buy a new synthetic stock, and replace the front sight with a scout mount? Those things cost a lot more than simple gun cleaning equipment.
Maybe I'm missing what you mean by "clean them up".

March 11, 2012, 10:31 PM
Well, the insides are rusting and I lloked and only have drops of hoppes left. They also need oiled bad and the stocks refinished. I am looking into what I can do to sporterize the mosin. First I wasnted to be sure I am not destroying history by doing this to a mosin rather than a mauser

March 11, 2012, 11:13 PM
Back in the 50's, 60's, and 70's a lot of beautiful 98 Mausers were ruined by making sporters out of them. some ended up being fine shooting, and beautiful rifles. I'll plead as guilty as anyone on that. I still have a nice 6MM Remington varmint rifle that was built on a 98 action. Fortunately for history, it was only the action I bought, and not an entire rifle. I think between the enormous number of 91-30 Mosins made, and their rather low desirability as a custom rifle, that it's doubtful a significant number would be ruined as far as historical pieces.
You can do a lot of sporterizing to a Mosin Nagant just by changing a few parts that can be changed back. Now if it comes to shortening the barrel, drilling and taping for scope mounts, and altering the bolt, then there is no returning to the original military.

March 12, 2012, 07:38 AM
I hate sporterized military rifles and when I see them I cringe knowing a piece of history has been erased.

Then don't sporterize them. Clean, refurbish, and refinish them.

Heavy Metal 1
March 12, 2012, 08:56 AM
To me wartime manufactured guns ARE a piece of history! They were made under the threat of national extinction. How more historic can you get? Mine has a metal finish that looks as if it was done by beavers, but it shoots beautifully. Just thinking of what was going on in those days-it was a historic time indeed. The Germans were pounding on the door! A nice commercial grade finish looks better, but knowing it was made during a time of stability & relative peace is not significant to me.

March 12, 2012, 01:06 PM
If you purchased a very rare non-refurbed Mosin in pristine condition, and want to keep it for prosperity or resell then do not even clean the cosmoline off, so that it will maintain it's value.
For the other 99% of refurbed Mosins; it is a rifle, and will never reach it's accuracy potential without extensive modifications. It is in a refurb stock, which almost always guarantees loss of accuracy.
Did you get it to shoot, or are you opening a museum ? Very few fit both criteria. You say sporterize, I say functionalize. A refurb is just not a very functional rifle for shooting sports.

the rifleer
March 12, 2012, 08:53 PM
There is a serious difference between taking care of a gun and sportierizing one. It is perfectly ok to clean rust off, touch up spots with some cold blue, get the cosmoline out of the stock… things like that. it really is ok and it is for the benefit of the rifle.

If you take a hack saw and cut the barrel and drill and tap the receiver and put a brand new nikon scope with a bent bolt on, that is a little bit different. Even then, you have two of them and these things are dirt cheap and there is a nearly endless supply of them, so its not really an issue even if you did modify them.

If you did the above to an '03 springfield, that would upset people a little bit more.

March 12, 2012, 09:23 PM
There must be a million Mosin-Nagants in the country, the majority of them being force-matched arsenal refurbished, and of common WWII manufacture. I think we can live with one less milsurp if the poster wants to do a nice job of conversion.

March 13, 2012, 11:49 AM
Seventeen MILLION M-N 91-30s were made.

Go have a good time.

My M44 won't be touched, but a beater M91 is fair game to me.

Just (mostly) finished a winter boredom project on an off-the-shelf M91-30. Stuck it in a small ring Mauser RamLine stock. Mounting holes matched. Wasn't using the stock, now it is in weekly use.

Bore was...a bit tired, but cleaned up ok, and now is shiny. :)

One hundred dollars shipped to my FFL. Maybe in 100 years, it might be collectible, but right now, it is a project gun.

While I appreciate the beauty of original guns, if you buy it, it is yours. Social approbation should only cause you to evaluate your plans, not to derail them.

Be safe.

March 13, 2012, 12:41 PM
My advice is for you guys to bubba up as many Mosins as you can :D

I remember cheap Mausers and M1903s. They were never going to be worth anything. The more Mosins that get chopped up, the more valuable my little collection becomes. Have at it, boys!

James K
March 13, 2012, 12:50 PM
I'll have to go along with Cheapshooter. Sporterizing a military rifle, done even reasonably well, costs money and may exceed the cost of a good used sporting rifle. Done very well, the cost may exceed the price of a new sporting rifle, like the Savage.

So how can someone who can't afford a bottle of Hoppes sporterize anything? Even a hacksaw would appear to be beyond his means. My suggestion is to keep the rifles as they are until he knows more about what is involved and is able to afford at least some decent work, or changes his mind and heads for the used gun rack at the local gun shop.


March 13, 2012, 02:47 PM
All good points. I have noticed when people ask these questions what might help is to point them to cheap upgrades. Some of these do violate the " no-change " rule, but are not in anyway noticeable. The best of these is bedding the receiver. For the cost of a container of JB Weld and car polish you can make a more accurate firearm.

March 13, 2012, 03:04 PM
I am asking because I will have income in about two weeks, I am one of those few who do research before diving into a project. With that said, the screw holding done the spring that the trigger depresses onto seems like it was screwed in with a machine or Super Ivan. Are they supposed to come off? I assume so since there is no other way to remove the trigger.

March 14, 2012, 10:03 AM
Yep, those springs can get difficult. Most folks try Kroil or any light penetrating oil. Soak it for 24 hours. Might work.

March 16, 2012, 03:09 PM
The more Mosins that get chopped up, the more valuable my little collection becomes. Have at it, boys!

That's another way to look at it!:D

TX Hunter
March 16, 2012, 04:30 PM
For Real Sporterizing it will be expensive, but the simple stuff aint cheap either.
For example, if you were to convert yours to a Sniper, it would be cheaper to just buy the Sniper.
If you want to make something exotic out of it, you will need specialized tools, and the really nice parts that you use to modify it will also be very expensive. Now to just clean a firearm, that dosent cost much, a simple cleaning kit, you can pick up from Wallmart for about $10 will work.
Good luck with your project.

March 18, 2012, 08:21 PM
I have sporterized a 1952 Hungarian M44 that was in ok condition, but almost none of the serial numbers matched. The stock was nearly unserviceable, and I decided to do some more to it while I was at it. It was more out of curiosity about what could and couldn't be done with a MN than anything else, and I've made little changes here and there over time as I learned more. If you're going to get your feet wet with modifying a firearm, a MN is going to to be the most economical weapon to work with because you've not wasted much if you screw it up.

March 19, 2012, 07:58 AM
Some of us think sporterizing a milsurp <is> screwing it up.

Eventually, even a non-matching Mosin will be worth a lot.

March 20, 2012, 12:33 AM
As the saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure. When you have one with all matching serials that's in fantastic condition, messing around with one that is of marginal quality and no matching serials is not such a big deal. The "value" of the rifle is relative to what it means to the owner/buyer.

March 20, 2012, 12:44 AM
How is it that illiterate Russian conscripts can keep a rifle in working order with just the cleaning tools issued with the gun, but your roomate, with a roof over his head, heat, electric light, etc...... can not?

Out of Hoppes? Do a search for "Ed's Red".....

March 20, 2012, 03:29 AM
M91-30? go for it, its your rifle, and the value doesent appear to be rising anytime soon. just sport this one, then buy another if you dont like it lol.

the only sarge
March 20, 2012, 06:35 AM
For whatever it is worth. Here is a little walk through from last week of a Mosin project I was asked to document.
Lot of younger guys (on tight budgets) need a inexpensive but accurate brush/hog gun.
The Mosin fits the bill and the process is simple and inexpensive. I have done dozens of these and I will attest they are accurate and reliable guns. Cheap to shoot with MilSurp and cheap to acquire. The 30.06 type round (7.62X54R) these Mosins shoot are perfect for the deer/hogs down here in South Texas.

I have found a 21 inch barrel is the sweet spot. So I cut off 7'ish inches off. Not rocket science here :) I chuck the barrel up in the vice and put my high dollar barrel cutting guide on ( 1/2" angle iron) where the cut is to be made and clamp it down with a C-Clamp. This allows a guide for my hacksaw and cuts a nice clean 90 degree face.

I then re-crown it. You can use a fine file and then the brass screw method...or get lazy in your old age and use one of Dave Manson re-crowning kits. I am old and getting lazy so Dave sent me one of his .30 MilSurp re-crowning tool sets. Either method works well.
I put a muzzle brake on mine. Really helps with the recoil and folks like them. Now the Mosin barrel is tapered. So depending where your cut is will determine the diameter you will thread.
If you do not cut your barrel at all and wish to put a muzzle device on the end it will take a 15mmX1mm die. I cut mine back to 21" and I use a 17mmX1mm die and muzzle device as the barrel diameter there is closer to .670. Lil further up it is closer to .639 and I use a 5/8"X24. You get the idea.
So I cut/recrown and thread.
(Premptive post/ Sarge you suck at pictures)
I cut the throat off the stock
Heat and remove the rear site and will mount a red dot on this one...but most get a LER scope. I use the BSA high mount 3/8" scope mounts and they have held rock solid for a kabillion rounds out of my Mosins.

There it is. I will finish this one probably tomorrow after sanding and staining the stock.
These make really nice brush guns and look great. All for under $200 bucks. Cant beat that with a big stick.

the only sarge
March 20, 2012, 06:36 AM
Polished and put my spacer in the trigger group so that is done. Installed a slack trigger spring.
(Preemptive post= Sarge you suck at pictures and should stay away from cameras)

From left to right is the original firing pin spring. A C&R Surplus reduced power spring and the last one is the Wolff Spring 22 lb. I use the reduced power spring on the brush gun. Significantly reduces the time and effort to open the bolt/cock. Have never had a light strike at all.
Polished and greased the pressure points in the bolt.

Mounted up the BSA scope mounts and the Millet Red Dot.

I also have taken a 20 gauge bore brush on the end of my drill motor and polished up the throat.
The barrel is like chrome right now so it is ready.

I have sanded the stock and the 2nd layer of stain is drying right now. On this one I went with MinWax Gunstock stain. I also drilled and installed the 2 sling rings. One coat of Polyurethane on it and this is ready to go hunting.

I also noticed as I was sanding there was an inscription.
Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин which Google tells me translates to
"Property of Joseph Stalin"
It came right off and looks better now.
We will go make some history with this thing down in Hog Hooterville.

the only sarge
March 20, 2012, 06:38 AM
I gave the stock the finished OOOO steel wool and Howards Bee's Wax sanding. Makes the stock smooth as glass.

Installed the high dollar ChinaMart rifle slings
Put the sling on....
Installed the recoil lug and butt plate. I always put a strip of roofing tar paper in the stock guide (hell I dunno what the experts call it :) ) It does make a difference in reducing flyers and I do it in all my Mosin Brush guns. Stuff last till rapture and lifts the barrel in line perfectly.
Put it all back together and laser bore sighted it @ 50 yards from the hill back into a target I have taped on the wall of the garage. Dead nut.
Laced up the cheek rest/ammo holder (I love these $15 dollar things) It puts your face perfect in line with the high mount scope and holds 20 rounds (4 stripper clips) and it holds them there. Velcro is a wonderful thing.

I got another one yesterday from SOG. And I will do the same thing this week to it.

That's it guys. The muzzle brake will be here probably Tuesday...I will screw it on....probably have to thread a bit to get it to line up @ 90degrees....but all is simple.

Nothing I did in this conversion is difficult nor expensive. These are just great hunting rifles converted this way.

You can build this for under $200. Scope is like $50 and is the best inexpensive red dot out there IMHO.

Hope maybe this helps somebody and good shootin'!

the only sarge
March 20, 2012, 06:41 AM
I left out a issue with these MilSurps (not just Mosins guys)
Rarely is the barrel concentric with the rifle bore. So always be aware and careful any muzzle device will clear the exiting bullet. Often I have to drill and ream a muzzle device for that safety margin to compensate for an out of whack bore/barrel. Again, no big deal...but a safety issue when threading and installing a muzzle device on any MilSurp. Let me find a picture of a Mosin with one really out of whack to show you what I am talking about....
It will shoot accurately and reliably....just don't think about putting any muzzle device on one this far out of whack with the bore :)

the only sarge
March 20, 2012, 08:00 AM
The finished Hog/Brush Mosin project. Shoots great. Have made many of these for ranch use (mainly guest here Hog hunting) but this is the first red dot. I will say I am impressed with the quick acquisition and accuracy.

the only sarge
March 20, 2012, 08:23 AM
The scope rings are loose fitting and make the scope look crooked. The scope is dead on.....it is the scope rings that are wabberjocky :) Just FYI.
And yes I straightened up the candles for the old woman after I saw that picture :)
Bottom line is these are inexpensive to do. Great hunting/truck guns and can be shot for years with MilSurp ammo inexpensively. Guest here at the ranch love them and many a hog has caught the business end of one of these Mosin sporters.
I stay out of the "history destroying" discussion as these are all working guns. I have dozens of MilSurps and they all get shot/cleaned once a month at minimum.